Ever since proto-punker Roger Daltrey sputtered the dire line, "Hope I die before I get old" (he's now in his 50s and not complaining), punk-rock's durability has been in question. How could more mature people purvey or enjoy something so intrinsically linked to adolescent angst and energy?
Some dim bar lighting was shed on that question Thursday night when the well-heeled Zonic Shockum played Bethlehem's Second Avenue.
Philadelphia-based Zonic, which has been around since the late 1980s, showed no sign of mellowing during its loud, abrasive set, with many of the songs drawn from the band's late-in-coming 1997 self-titled debut disc. The stripped down guitar/bass/drums trio, led by the Exene-like vocals of Hellertown-raised Debbie Polak, lent an even rawer feel to tracks such as "Castilla" and "Between The Sixes" than on the somewhat more processed studio effort.
As for the audience, the 50 or so who turned out, mostly approaching or past the magic age of 30, received the band heartily, despite the lack of corporate endorsement, resemblance to approved neo-punk standards of slickness, or clear vocals. They just seemed to want to hear something loud, fast, and honest, perhaps the better to avoid "getting old."
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